Exercising Your Independence in a Relationship
Relationships is a huge topic to review and I really do want to delve deeper and share more inspiration with you on the subject of relationships and I will do that as we move forward. Here we will explore just a thought or two regarding intimate relationships as part of the Independence series.
I feel this small nugget of truth will help you to begin opening up so that your awareness will begin to blossom and you will find truth in your new journey toward successful and rewarding relationships that bring about a peace within and a peaceful and loving experience.
Note: I am not specifically referring to relationships filled with control issues or co-dependency here. That we will discuss in another blog. But learning to be more independent even in those situations will help you to move out of low energy vibrations (depression). (Please exercise wisdom, for relationships filled with control and co-dependency issues require much healing and growth on your part when exercising your independence to keep from inviting abuse in the front door. Again, these topics are not reviewed in this blog article.)
In the beginning:
Before you entered into the dating game and found someone special there was only you. You were independent of anyone’s ideas or ideologies, dreams and processes. You were operating solely, making all your own decisions, going where you wanted, when you wanted, with who ever you wanted. Spending your money how you wanted, living your life the way you wanted, eating the foods you love, listening to the music you loved and reading the books you loved, and even relaxing the way you always loved too. Then it all changed. You found a special someone that you felt would add to your life. Someone that would love to do all the things that you do. Someone you thought thinks like you or sees things through your eyes. In the beginning it didn’t seem to matter that they didn’t do all the same things you loved to do. You just knew that the feelings for each other were stronger than all the other interest you had by yourself. Besides, you can come up with things you love to do together, right? Then it happened… reality set in and the problems began.
You found yourself compromising beyond your normal limits because you care so much or so deeply for this person. You stopped working out, stopped eating healthy, stopped going to places you love to hang out, stopped associating frequently with certain friends. You changed everything in your world, readily willing to do so for the sake of a happy relationship. Then you found out that you weren’t happy.
The arguments started, the resentment started, the depression grew, the anxiety and the stress increased. You questioned your love for this person and felt betrayed into an experience void of things you like to do.
For some you broke up, for others you are still struggling to make something you believe in work because you know somewhere deep inside you still love this person. But then is it attachment or are you staying in a relationship for fear of loosing someone or something? (this is another topic for discussion later)
What happened is you lost you. You shelved everything that made you you to become someone designed by your lover. You ceased to be the strong independent thinker your lover feel in love with.
A healthy and vibrant relationship comes from having two equal parties that merge fully into one, bringing independent values to the relationship. The molds are already cast and poured, the relationship merely is a display stand for the beautiful sculpture you already are.
Your thoughts and interest are vitally important and cannot be drowned out or devalued by the relationship. This causes you to stagnant and die within. You are no longer a healthy part of the relationship, you are more of a liability.
I know this seems to be a harsh statement, but think about the things you use to do together before you gave up your dreams, your hobbies and interest. Think of the conversations that seemed more meaningful for both of you when you were more engaged in YOU and how the other person took more interest in getting to know you and all that makes you YOU.
Without the vital part of You; your dreams, your interest, your hobbies etc… you become dependent on every thought of the other person, which by all accounts is now leading every move and making every decision for both of you and more than likely not very happy either because they feel they are doing all the mental work to keep the relationship in tact. You become a liability to the relationship because you no longer are a free thinker that adds life to it. You are now a sponge waiting to suck life out of the relationship because you feel you need something more and tend to demand more attention from the other person to get it.
Neither party knows what happened, but both are now miserable and blaming each other for the failings and shortcomings in the relationship.
Through Independence Achieve a Greater Bond
Before you entered a relationship you were independent of anyone’s thoughts and made all your own decisions on the things you like to do and managed your own comfort zone. You were more prone to disagree with any suggestions not in alignment with your pursuits of happiness and career also.
Once we enter a relationship the rules of engagement change in our lives. Now the challenge comes in navigating the the uncharted waters of bringing two minds together as one. This is the Great Divide. The place where you is also us and we is still also me.
Sometimes it seems easier to just sit back and let the relationship take control and move in the direction it is going. However, relationships require work just like anything else. Let’s look at the relationship as a boat and one person is the sail and the other is the motor. (Yes, some sail boats have outboard motors) Both of you know you are a force that moves the boat, but who the hell is steering? That is the key question. You learn to steer the boat together.
Some days the wind is good so you agree to use the power of the sail. On other days there is no wind so you use the power of the motor. You both are aware that each has short comings. The sail has an intricate system of knots and ropes that can quickly become entangled or worse the canvas could rip. The motor requires gasoline or fuel and could malfunction or overheat. However, both of you depend on each others individuality and strengths to move the boat even though you are aware of the potential shortcomings.
Now imagine that the sail decided to give up being a sail because it was so in love with motor that it just wanted to do everything the motor does or whatever the motor wants to do. For a time the motor says, OK I can do the work for both of us no problem and I know what we can do. Then the sail forgets when it is to steer the boat because it is waiting on the motor to give all the instructions, set up the time lines and guidelines. The motor gets overheated from the over load and begins to malfunction. Now boat called Relationship is just drifting on the sea because the sail and the motor can’t work together because one of them forgot how to be who they are and bring their individual talent and gifts to help sail the boat called Relationship.
Both the sail and motor no longer are speaking and the boat named Relationship just drifts on a windless, lifeless, dead sea.
A pretty colorful story, but I think you get the point.
The bottom line is you add to the relationship all that you are. You bring your dreams, hobbies, ideas and talents to the table and it is what makes the relationship have more life. The key is in learning to work together to steer your boat called Relationship.
By giving up your independence you are putting your own life on hold and inviting misery into your relationship because you feel inadequate, caged, and unsettled. By the same token, your partner also feels let down and overwhelmed by the additional emotional responsibility you have now placed them under.
That which you ARE is what you have been crafting yourself to BE you whole life. You are the sum of all your experiences, knowledge, ideas and dreams. Without them you are only a shell of the person you have actually grown to be.
By no means am I saying you are a finished work yet, because that would mean its time to move to the next experience and leave the body behind. There is so much more to know but only you can choose to grow into the more for you. No one else makes you the person you become except for you. Our relationships help guide our awareness so that we can make revisions to our thought processes and become a wiser and better person, including the bad ones.
Know that being an independent person means you bring new life to the relationship because you have new ideas and challenge the other partner to experience them with you. Together you learn more by engaging in new pursuits and continue to learn more about each other as you grow in deeper understanding and your love moves from a surface attraction to one of deep commitment.
So if your favorite color is Red, you don’t have to change it to Blue because that is your partners favorite color. Besides red and blue match. 🙂 Be creative. Because your partner loves chicken and you love steak, why not fix both for dinner? Its a little extra effort, but think of all the joy and peace it brings with it because you both get to enjoy something you like individually, but still together. Have a bottle of wine with it and see where the evening takes you. 🙂
So as you move into your independence and exercise being you, your partner becomes more familiar with you and works to allow you the space you need to have and do the things you like and you do the same for them.
This is a bond that cannot be broken, because you are bringing your individuality together to steer one boat.
Its OK to be who you are in the relationship. BE YOU!
Click Here for the Independence Day Series 2009 Part 1 – Independence in Your Career Path 2009 Part 2 – Independent Thinking 2009 Part 3 – Independence in Relationships Independence Day 2010 – TFI (True Financial Independence) Independence Day 2011 – Being Independently You Independence Day 2012 – Living Independent of the World’s Illusion of You